M&S Pudsey donates meals to Bradford-based charity FoodSavers
The impact of food waste on the environment is an issue which has gained prominence in recent years. Now, a Yorkshire branch of Marks & Spencer has been praised for its “vital role” in helping the company deliver surplus meal packages. By Grace Hammond
Published 18th Jan 2024, 10:49 GMT M&S Pudsey has taken part in the the high-street retailer’s food waste scheme, donating 195,000 meals to Bradford-based charity FoodSavers. The company’s M&S Foodhalls across the UK and Ireland have donated 70 million surplus food packages to charities and organisations across the country since 2015, and as the cost-of-living crisis continued in 2023 – with more people across England reliant on the third sector to access good quality food – the partnership has seen over 14,331,416 meals donated across the country, an increase on 2022’s 12,958,659.
These donations contributed to Marks & Spencer achieving its UK-wide milestone of 70 million meals to local charities with long-standing food redistribution partner Neighbourly.
Mark, a volunteer at Inn Churches.
Claire Smith, store manager at M&S Pudsey, said “Doing the right thing for the people and communities we serve has always been important to M&S and we are delighted to be supporting these wonderful causes with our surplus food. “This partnership with Neighbourly has enabled us not only tackle food waste in our stores but also ensure our delicious food, which is too good to waste, can support those in need when they need it most. I want to thank our incredible store colleagues for their ongoing efforts to make this partnership such a success.”
Since the launch of the surplus partnership in 2015, M&S has been working with Neighbourly to redistribute food, preventing it from going to waste, to more than 3,000 local charities and community organisations across the UK. To date, the partnership has supported over 4.5 million individuals, with meal donations supporting families in need, young people and those with disabilities, says the company. An estimated one-third of all the food produced around the globe goes to waste, and about six to eight per cent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stopped that, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
FoodSavers, a charity which provides high-quality fresh and store cupboard food for a low weekly membership, is run by Inn Churches, which offers practical support to those that need it most. The project was piloted in partnership with Bradford District Credit Union and is just one organisation benefiting from the partnership with M&S. Juli Thompson, CEO at FoodSavers, said: “FoodSavers has been partnered with M&S Pudsey for many years.
We’ve collected the equivalent of over 195,000 meals worth of surplus from this store which has been distributed locally to individuals who are in need of support, so they can have access to affordable and healthy food. “It has been an amazing partnership which has helped many people.” In November, M&S announced a new partnership with Fareshare, to redistribute surplus food from within its supply chain.
Working with long-term supplier 2 Sisters Food Group, M&S set about donating one million “freshly prepared, nutritious” ready meals in the eight weeks leading up to Christmas. Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighbourly, said: “M&S was one of Neighbourly’s founding partners and was the first business to launch a nation-wide food redistribution scheme through the platform in 2015, alongside their local charity of the year programme. “The surplus scheme has gone from strength to strength over the past eight years, with the launch of new technologies that have enabled more surplus food to get out into the communities where it’s needed, building long-lasting relationships between store teams and neighbourhood charities whilst also having a tremendous positive environmental impact.
“Seventy million meals is an incredible milestone and is down to the hard work of M&S colleagues, their charity partners and thousands of community volunteers.
“Sadly, the cost-of-living crisis means more families than ever are relying on local good causes for food and emergency aid – particularly in the run up to Christmas, and this food is a vital resource.”